How to stress and measure the Garbage Collector

Many years ago, I was writing real time applications for monitoring sound signals bouncing off submarines. That code (written in Fortran and PDP-11 assembly code) had to process the incoming sound at the rate of thousands of data points per second, doing real-time Fast Fourier Transforms and analyzing the results, printing graphs. Using a managed…

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Using Async with ManualResetEventSlim

When I first started writing programs many years ago, my computer had only one processor and no notion of thread, because there was only one. Understanding code for it just meant following one “thread” of execution. I was trying to create a way to queue items to work on in a different thread than the…

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Use reflection to get assembly type and method sizes for comparison

I wanted to know what changed between two versions of a managed assembly. Software changes over time, and seeing what changed can be important in understanding behavior.So I wrote a little program to show the assembly contents, sorted by size, showing the size of various components such as classes and methods. Because it doesn’t look…

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Detouring code

  Microsoft Detours from Microsoft Research is a powerful technology to intercept operating system function calls and detour the call to your own code. This enables:  1.    Diagnostics: you can log callers, parameters2.    Replace functionality completely: the caller calls the WinAPI “MessageBox”, but it calls your version instead.3.    Modify functionality: perhaps change some parameters to…

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Lasers bouncing off elliptical mirrors in C#

The NumberPhile Illumination Problem https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xhj5er1k6GQ describes reflecting light beams off mirrored walls to see if all parts of an oddly shaped room can be illuminated. In the last 2 posts (Lasers reflecting off an ellipse  and  Reflect laser beams off multiple mirrors) I showed some code to simulate laser beams reflecting off multiple mirrors in…

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Lasers reflecting off an ellipse

Various conic sections (hyperbolas, parabolas, ellipses) have interesting reflective properties. Parabolas are used for antennae and even car headlight and flashlight reflectors to focus a beam of light. In the last post https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/calvin_hsia/2018/02/28/reflect-laser-beams-off-multiple-mirrors I showed some code to bounce a laser off various mirrors that the user can draw on the screen. I also mentioned…

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Reflect laser beams off multiple mirrors

In some science museums there are exhibits demonstrating the paths of light rays. A typical one might have a table with small walls consisting of blocks a few inches high, with each vertical face being a mirror. A small horizontal laser can be positioned anywhere on the table. Many blocks be placed on the table…

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Store different derived classes in collections in C++ and C#: CoVariance, shared_ptr, unique_ptr

I wanted to create a collection container that would hold objects of various types, all derived from a common interface/base class.In C# and VB, this is easy. Just create a new List<MyBase>() and add elements to it, including various MyBase derived typesAdding elements that are more derived is Covariance (not to be confused with covariance…

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Calculate Pi to measure processor performance

We know that computers can calculate very quickly, but how do we compare performance between code? I know that processors have been improving immensely since my first processor in 1971 (see https://blogs.msdn.microsoft.com/calvin_hsia/2005/10/30/my-toys-over-the-years/ ). As improvements come to processors, not all programs take advantage of them. As processor manufacturers come up with new improvements (such as…

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Create a Visual Studio Extension with minimal impact on VS startup performance

The good news: It’s very easy to create an extension in Visual Studio. The bad news: It’s also easy to make that extension have an adverse effect on the start time of Visual Studio. Let’s examine how we can mitigate the impact on Visual Studio performance. Make sure your VS Installation has installed Extensibility by…

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